The 2020-2021 race season at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans will begin on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th. But, there will be a few changes in place. The first is that the track will not be open to the general public thanks to COVID-19. The track anticipates that they will be able to allow fans in December. The decision was made after the announcement of approximately 2,600 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday along with an increase in hospitalizations. Only licensed horsemen and essential personnel will be allowed. However, while the track is closed ro racing fans, the Fair Grounds' slots and twelve off track betting facilities will remain open under normal hours and safety protocols.
The track has also announced a change to their wagering options. The track will switch back to the traditional Pick 5 for the upcoming meet. The traditional early and late Pick 5 will replace the Black Gold Five, a jackpot wager the track has used for the past several years. The early Pick 5 will include races 1-5 and the late Pick 5 will be offered on the last five races of the card. The 50 cent minimum wager will pay 100% of the day's pool plus any carryover to those who correctly select 5-of-5 winners. If nobody picks all 5 races correctly, 25% of the pool will be awarded to those who select the most winners. The remaining 75% of the pool will carry over to the next day.
Fair Grounds will also offer a Pick 4, which will include races 2-5 and two other Pick 4s later in the card. Rolling Pick 3s and Daily Doubles will also remain as wagering options. Overall, the track is making a key change to its horizontal wagering platform. If any race is taken off the turf after a sequence has started, the ticket will revert to ALL on any live tickets. This rule applies only to turf races moving to the dirt track. If there's a scratch, that will result in the bettor's pick being replaced by the post time favorite.
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